Autonomous Chevy Bolt EVs To Hit The Streets Of NYC

Tesla Autopilot

OCT 19 2017 BY MARK KANE 38

GM’s Cruise Automation will soon begin the testing of autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EVs (Level 4) on a daily basis in New York City to accelerate improvements of the system.


GM’s Self-Driving Chevy Bolt (Photo by Steve Fecht for General Motors)

Manhattan, targeted for the tests, is considered one of the most challenging places to operate an autonomous vehicle in the US, but also one that can benefit development the most.

““New York City is one of the most densely populated places in the world and provides new opportunities to expose our software to unusual situations, which means we can improve our software at a much faster rate,” said Kyle Vogt, CEO of Cruise”

A further issue complicating New York City testing doesn’t even involve the abilities of the vehicles, but rather the tough local requirements for such programs to take place (like police escorts being mandated for each self-driving auto at all times).

Such difficult hurdles increase costs, and as a result discourages manufacturers to tests autonomous cars in the area.  This is why, so far, only Audi and Cadillac have conducted a handful of “one-off” tests.

“The law, which passed early this year, only allows a brief window for autonomous vehicle testing before expiring on April 1st, 2018. It also requires a police escort for each self-driving car, the expense of which is paid for by the company. Automakers need to list specific vehicles being used for the tests in their application, and each must be covered by a $5 million insurance policy.”

Currently 14 states allowed autonomous driving car tests, but not necessarily with such high requirements as New York.  To date, the most popular location has been San Francisco.

“Autonomous vehicles have the potential to save time and save lives, and we are proud to be working with GM and Cruise on the future of this exciting new technology,” Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said in a statement released Tuesday.

“The spirit of innovation is what defines New York, and we are positioned on the forefront of this emerging industry that has the potential to be the next great technological advance that moves our economy and moves us forward.” 

The Verge, hat tip to Brian R!

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38 Comments on "Autonomous Chevy Bolt EVs To Hit The Streets Of NYC"

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GM leading the way in real world AV testing. Who’d a thunk that?

How is it “leading the way”?
Hoe is it “real world”?

It looks like a science experiment. Definitely not a production car and each copy is over $100K.

So you’re saying it’s nearly as expensive as a Tesla with almost-Level 2 autonomy..?!?

Cruise did this not GM. Cruise Automation sold to GM for $1 billion last year. GM can not even get adaptive cruise control (ACC) when they first put out the Gen 2 Volt or the Bolt for goodness sakes! They had to buy tech.

Come to DFW! There are a few companies with self driving vehicles driving in the Arlington area near Dallas. I would love to see one of these Bolts on the road here!

It would not be pretty.

Are you talking about something other than the Milo shuttles? If so, what and where? I would to check it out!

“The I-30 corridor, known for traffic congestion, is perfect for the research. Its horizontal and vertical curvature is ideal for testing in varied environments. And the barricaded express lanes in the middle of the highway work well for safe, isolated research.”

“It’ll likely be a year or two before the driverless cars involved in this research join you on the road.”

They’re coming but not on the roads quite yet. The little shuttles around the ballpark are just the first ones around.

What is the police escort for? To protect the car?

To arrest the driver after the crash that injures a pedestrian.

I think you mean the car, as it is doing the driving, right?

“What is the police escort for? To protect the car?”
They’ll probably clear the road of other traffic to make the test safer. Pointless, sure, but what else would they do?

Lawmakers cooked up the requirement. So you think it has to make sense?

Silly laws for new transport tech have a history. Early laws covering horseless carriages required a flagman walking 60 yards in front, to avoid scaring the horses.

If nothing else, it gives the public some piece of mind…

to get all obstructions to get out of the way of the autonomous.

Wonder how it will handle pot holes and mob cross walk issues. Video will surely be entertaining.

Volt#671 + BoltEV

Ahh! The big city mob crossing. Now that is a challenge. One wonders if the future AI that control autonomous cars of the future will eventually ‘learn’ that the best option is to just drive right into the crowd and have them scramble to get out of the way.

Will that even be a thing with a police escort?

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

If not, then that is not “Real World” testing.

Autonomous cars will all have police escorts in the future??

How about autonomous police cars 🙂

Good luck guys, you’ll need it. You wanted a challenge and you’ll certainly get it.

Try driving in DC.

F DC traffic and the nonsensical road planning.

That escalated quickly.

Take a drive on the wild side.
Little GM never gave it away, everybody had to pay and pay, especially if you owned their stock.

Who here wants to see an autonomous Bolt drive from NY to LA (or SF your choice I suppose) by the end of the year 😀

I am sure Bro does! I’m not sure they could do it with 0 disengagements though to be honest. I wonder if the Waymo Pacifica could. Those guys seem to be the clear leader right now.

“Autonomous vehicles have the potential to save time and save lives, and we are proud to be working with GM and Cruise on the future of this exciting new technology,” Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said in a statement released Tuesday.

Yes, we are very proud to be working with GM and Cruise – but only proud of one vehicle and only until next April 1 – and we are excited to “help” you with police protection, in exchange for a small cash contribution to the City’s coffers.

Sounds like the NYC cabbies leveraged the City government to make it as hard as possible for autonomous vehicle manufacturers to make inroads for testing, much less for implementation.

The Bolts don’t need assistance to navigate through the mobs crossing the streets. They need assistance navigating through the mobs running the city.

Are you trying to imply that politicians in NY are crooked?

Not crooked, but heavily-influenced by the NYC taxi companies. It takes an act of God to get a medallion there. My son runs an urban-wine-tour-bus business in Portland and it was the same thing there. The taxi lobby ran the commissions that approved new businesses like his. New entries, like Uber, Lyft, etc. that had even a whiff of a possibility of eating into existing conventional cab business had strange, unexplained delays, lost paperwork, etc, etc.

Just keep it secret so the taxis won’t know it drives itself…otherwise that car will be the most hit car in the city.

Yeah that would be an intelligent move, given that we just learned every car would have its own police escort.

“Accidents” happen…especially when you know the thing you are hitting will put you out of your job soon.

Cheap at twice the price. Now think of how much attention an autonomous car will get with a bulging thingy on its roof and is driving with a police escort. The job of marketing is to get as much attention and as many potential customer eyes as is possible. If for several months they are driving up and down 5th avenue and Times Square and Broadway etc, just think of how many people will notice it. Not to mention all the free media coverage. Even if the testing is a failure at the task at hand, it is still going to be a success on a larger scale.

I would guess Mumbai or any other big Indian city is way worse than NYC to drive in.

Maybe Ireland, as I hear that’s ♫♫ where the streets have no names ♫♫

That thing is years and years from being sellable.